For the longest time I have been afraid of trying to bake bread from scratch. No box mixes, no bread machine.
My first attempt was a Challah recipe I got from an author I read. It came out so so and I set it aside for a few years.
In Nov. I decided I would break it out again and tweak it with suggestions I got from others. It came out AMAZING. It's a wonderful cinnamon and honey challah that is to die for.
For some reason I got a bug up my ass today about baking more bread. But I wanted something different. I have been searching the internet for months for a wheat bread recipe that looked desirable. They all looked the same.
Sooooo, I strapped on my big girl pants (hahaha, I know, I wear them all the time) and I improvised based on different things I had seen.
So I am going to share my creation with everyone.
I call it: M & M Wheat Bread (No it doesn't have M&Ms in it. Sorry. :( )
M & M Wheat Bread
1 packet dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup hot water (tap hot, not boiled)
pinch of sugar
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached bread flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole oats (old fashioned oatmeal)
1/2 cup water
1/4 vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbl Maple syrup
2 Tbl molasses
In a cereal bowl mix 1/2 cup hot water and pinch of sugar and add packet of yeast. Mix and set aside to bloom
In large bowl mix 1 cup of bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
When yeast mixture has bloomed to roughly twice its size, mix with the flour mixture you have prepared. It will be dry. Add the 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, eggs, Maple syrup and molasses. Mix well and it will be soupy.
Add 1 cup of oats and slowly begin to incorporate the other 2 cups of whole wheat flour.
If mixing by hand, at some point you may not be able to mix it any further. Use remaining flour that hasn't been incorporated to dust the counter or cutting board and knead in the dusting flour until it is elastic and soft and when kneaded into a ball, it is smooth.
Spray a bowl that is double the size of your dough ball with cooking spray and set the dough inside. Spray the top of the dough too. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and warm draft free place to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hour, until it has roughly doubled in size.
When the dough has doubled in size, lightly dust your cutting board again and pour out the dough and punch it down and re-form into a ball or loaf, which ever suits you.
On cookie sheet or pizza stone, lightly dust with flour and then sprinkle with oats. Set dough on top of oats and cover again and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat to 375 F while the dough is rising.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until it sounds hollow when you tap the loaf.
Allow to cool before cutting or you will squash the loaf.
If you try this, I hope it works for you and you enjoy it as much as we have.